Quartararo 6th in #IndianGP Sprint, Morbidelli 15th
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Fabio Quartararo gave it his all in the Grand Prix of India Sprint and rode to a well-deserved sixth place and four championship points. Franco Morbidelli struggled on braking but persevered to cross the finish line in 15th position.
Today‘s Sprint was delayed due to torrential rain earlier in the afternoon. It was decided that the riders would get an additional Free Practice (a 15-minute ’Wet Session‘) to get accustomed to the wet conditions. However, as it dried quickly, the track conditions were already mixed by that time. A second delay to get the starting grid completely dry meant that the Sprint finally got underway at 16:55 local track time.
Quartararo had a good start from P8 and went through turn 1 without any incidents. He settled into sixth place. With Joan Mir crashing out on lap 4, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider moved up to fifth. However, the Frenchman struggled to stay with the top-4 riders and a gap started to form. He kept pushing and had no time to relax as Marco Bezzecchi put pressure on him in the final two laps. El Diablo made his M1 as wide as possible, and did well to defend his position, but he ultimately wasn‘t able to keep the Italian at bay. Quartararo crossed the finish line in sixth place, 4.327s from the front.
Despite qualifying in P17, Morbidelli started the Sprint from P16 because Alex Marquez was declared unfit to ride, allowing the Italian to move up a spot. However, the 11-lap dash was an incident-filled affair for the Yamaha man. He needed to take evasive action, avoiding two separate collisions ahead of him in the first corner as 21 riders dived into the tight righthander. He found himself at the back of the pack fighting with Michele Pirro, but the duel came to an end when Morbido went wide at the start of lap 4 and again in turn 3 where he had to avoid Mir, who had crashed in that corner. The number-21 rider kept going, though. Still pushing in a rather lonely ride, he took the chequered flag in 15th place, 36.486s from first.
Today‘s results see Quartararo keep his 11th place in the overall standings with now 89 points. Morbidelli remains in 12th with 68 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are 6th in the team championship with 157 points, and Yamaha stays in 5th position in the constructor‘s championship with 109 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo will be back on track tomorrow for Warm Up from 11:10 – 11:20 local track time (GMT +5:30). The Race will start at 15:30.
We had a great pace for our standard, but we are still too far from the others. We have to see what we need to improve. We know our strengths and weaknesses, so hopefully the engineers find a way. We‘re going to look deeply into the data to see if there‘s a margin in some areas. Since it‘s a new track, we had a bit of an advantage as it takes the others longer to adapt, but they are improving, so we need to try to do the same.
I made many mistakes during the Sprint because after getting caught up in the incident in Turn 1 on the opening lap, my chances were practically gone. So, I focused on the braking areas and trying to understand what we can do to improve there. It was basically a practice session for me. We are trying a different solution to find the 0.2s or 0.3s we‘re missing compared to Fabio. It‘s important to stay focused on the present and try to maximise everything.